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1) Record Number Of Workers Quit Jobs
The Topline: As the economy continues it's slow recovery following COVID-19 lockdowns, new data shows that the number of Americans quitting their jobs hit a record level in August.
Frederic J. BROWN/FREDERIC J. BROWN/Contributor/AFP via Getty Images
A new report from the Department of Labor shows that 4.3 million people voluntarily left their jobs in August, which is just under 3% of the entire workforce.
There's also a labor shortage right now with 10.4 million job openings.
According to experts, one reason could be that workers are realizing how much leverage they have when they see millions of job openings and hear stories about signing bonuses and increased wages at businesses.
Another theory is that vaccine mandates are driving people out of the workforce. Even though President Joe Biden's federal order hasn't been implemented yet, a lot of larger employers are getting ahead of the curve and requiring vaccines on their own.
The number one industry affected was food services, where over 800,000 people quit their jobs. Next was retail, where 721,000 people quit, and third was healthcare, with over half a million people quitting.
What To Expect
In the short term, there will likely be increased delays in the supply chain as shipping, manufacturing, and agricultural jobs have been negatively impacted by the worker shortage.
Prices on common products will also be higher, as businesses try to make up for lost production.
A lot of experts say the shortage will likely dissipate in the coming months, as schools open more fully, and parents no longer have to stay home with their children.
Federal COVID-19 unemployment benefits ended in September, meaning people who'd been intentionally unemployed will no longer be getting government checks and will have to go find a job.
Justin Sullivan/Staff/Getty Images
2) Supply Chain Crisis Continues
The Topline: The Biden administration announced this week that supply-chain issues caused by the COVID-19 pandemic may keep people from receiving presents in time for Christmas, while insisting Americans shouldn't panic.
Quote Of The Day: "We are not the Postal Service or UPS or FedEx; we cannot guarantee. What we can do is use every lever at the federal government['s] disposal…"
– White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki
Supply Chain Problem
Supply chain disruptions began during the coronavirus pandemic as international shutdowns led to shipping delays and a labor shortage while people were ordering more items online. Restrictions on air travel also contributed to disruptions, which led to an increased need for trans-Atlantic cargo ships. This led to congestion at ports and was made worse by a shortage of cross-country truckers.
Government policies causing an increase in inflation and the continued labor shortage have also contributed to the backlog.
This week, a White House spokesman called on Walmart, FedEx, and UPS to "step up to help solve these problems," announcing that the three largest goods carriers had made commitments to a 24/7 shipping schedule and working off-peak hours. They've also ordered the port of Los Angeles in Long Beach to work around the clock to relieve the backlog. The spokesman also said the White House was in discussions with Target, Samsung, and Home Depot to make the same commitments.
President Biden pushed private companies to step up to fix the issue, threatening to "call out" those companies who don't. When he was pressed by reporters about whether Christmas presents would arrive on time, he declined to answer.
Al Drago/Bloomberg/Contributor via Getty Images
3) Countries Endorse Global Minimum Tax
The Topline: Last Friday, more than 100 countries around the world endorsed an agreement to enact a Global Minimum Tax on corporations.
Quote Of The Day: " This is a sovereignty issue in a major way. … They essentially replace our Made-in-America tax code with a tax code made in foreign countries. … It is constitutionally, I think, suspect in a big way, as well."
– Congressman Kevin Brady (R-TX)
The global minimum tax means nations agree to charge no less than a 15% corporate tax on business operating in their country. Locking in this rate effectively bars other nations from competing by offering lower corporate tax rates.
136 countries signed onto a statement from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, and agreed to implement the global minimum tax by 2023.
The most controversial part of the plan is something called the "top-up" mechanism, which means if one participating nation charges a corporate tax rate of less than 15%, the nation where the company is headquartered can charge the company the difference for their activities in other nations.
For Example : If Amazon only paid a 10% tax rate in another nation, the U.S. government can claim the difference of sales in that nation – in this case 5%.
Additionally, if the U.S. ever wanted to lower its corporate tax rate, other nations could tax U.S. sales.
Congressman Kevin Brady (R-TX) told Morning Wire the global minimum tax of 15% shows how much it would damage the economy to adopt President Biden's plan to hike the U.S. effective corporate tax rate to 31%.
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has said that Congress will include the global minimum tax as part of the president's $3.5 trillion reconciliation package.
If Congressional Democrats agree on the terms of the reconciliation package, Yellen says she's confident the global minim tax will be a part of it.
Mario Tama/Staff/Getty Images
Other Stories We're Tracking
Los Angeles Sheriff
On Thursday, Los Angeles county's sheriff announced his department is "not going to be the Covid police." Sheriff Alex Villanueva confirmed that officers will continue to respond to calls from businesses as needed, but that businesses, not his office, will be responsible for enforcement of Covid policies. Villanueva also confirmed that officers will have the option to take a weekly COVID-19 test in lieu of vaccination.
Transgender Netflix employees plan to walk out in protest of the online streaming platform's refusal to pull Dave Chappelle's new comedy special. The walkout, planned for October 20th, is in protest of the comedian's "transphobic" jokes.
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